Mercury and 134340 Pluto will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 0°13' to the south of 134340 Pluto.
From San Diego, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 8° above the horizon. They will become visible around 17:11 (PDT), 8° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 13 minutes after the Sun at 18:04.
Mercury will be at mag -0.7, and 134340 Pluto at mag 15.1, both in the constellation Sagittarius.
The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and 134340 Pluto around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 17° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 30 December 2021|
26 days old
All times shown in PST.
Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.
|17 Jul 2021||– 134340 Pluto at opposition|
|20 Jul 2022||– 134340 Pluto at opposition|
|22 Jul 2023||– 134340 Pluto at opposition|
|23 Jul 2024||– 134340 Pluto at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.